Holidays Made Easy - Show #513

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Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

Makes 6 servings

6 medium green bell peppers

1 jar (about 28 ounces) vegan marinara sauce

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

2 packages (16 ounces) Italian flavored crumbled or ground seitan

2 cups cooked and cooled long-grain brown rice

2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice about one inch off the top of each pepper. Seed the peppers.

Spread 11⁄2 cups of the marinara sauce and the 2 teaspoons of olive oil (optional) evenly over the bottom of a casserole that’s large and deep enough to hold all the peppers snugly so they remain upright during baking.

Put the seitan, brown rice and all-purpose seasoning in a large bowl and stir well until combined. Stir in 2⁄3 cup marinara sauce and mix to combine. Spoon one-sixth of the seitan mixture into each pepper, mounding it, if necessary. Spoon 2 heaping teaspoons of the marinara sauce over each pepper. Carefully position the peppers in the casserole so they will remain upright while baking.

Cover and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the peppers are tender but not mushy. Let cool for 7 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serve the peppers with tricolore pasta on the side and topped with some of the sauce that has accumulated at the bottom of the casserole. Put the remaining sauce in a gravy boat or small bowl to pass around at the table.


 

Raw Veggie Kebabs

Makes 10 Kebabs

A last-minute appetizer can be fancy, flavorful and impressive. Here, everyday veggies are threaded onto mini skewers to give them a new look for a festive first course or out-of-the-ordinary hors d’oeuvres.

10 bamboo kebab skewers

20 grape or cherry tomatoes

10 pitted green queen or Kalamata olives

½ large sweet red or orange bell pepper, cut in 10 slices

½ zucchini or cucumber, cut in 10 slices

Thread ten 8-inch bamboo skewers each with 1 tomato, 1 olive, 1 pepper slice, 1 zucchini or cucumber slice and finishing with a second tomato. Arrange the kebabs on a pretty serving platter.

Put the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl and briskly whisk until combined. Brush each kebab with the lemon sauce, using a small pastry brush. Sprinkle the basil over the top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve room temperature or refrigerate 1 to 2 hours and serve chilled.


 

 Chocolate Party Parfaits with Mocha “Cream”

Makes 6 servings

COOKIE LAYER

6 tablespoons cookie crumbs

CHOCOLATE LAYER

1⁄3 cup vanilla flavored nondairy milk

7 to 8 ounces (about ½ block) firm regular tofu, drained

1 bar (3.5 ounces) vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped (snack bar; not unsweetened baking chocolate) 

MOCHA “CREAM” LAYER

2 tablespoons cold, strongly brewed coffee

2 tablespoons maple syrup

7 to 8 ounces (about ½ block) firm regular tofu, drained

2 heaping tablespoons Chocolate Layer mixture (above)

GARNISH

3 whole vegan cookies, cut in half

Put 1 tablespoon of the cookie crumbs in the bottom of six mini parfait glasses, wine glasses, or small dessert dishes.

To make the chocolate layer, heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot, but not boiling. In this order, put 1⁄2 block tofu in a blender and top with the chopped chocolate. Pour in the steaming hot nondairy milk and process until completely smooth. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the cookie crumbs, dividing it evenly among the parfait glasses, reserving 2 heaping tablespoons to use in the mocha “cream” layer.

To make the mocha “cream” layer, put the cold coffee, maple syrup, 1⁄2 block tofu and reserved 2 heaping tablespoons of the chocolate mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Spoon the mocha layer over the chocolate layer in the parfait glasses.

Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. Serve cold, garnished with half of a vegan cookie tucked into the center of the parfait.